COVID-19 vaccine clinics are here to stay, according to local health officials


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ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Vaccine clinics are here to stay, according to local health officials. Many states, including New York, have eased COVID restrictions because of high vaccination rates, but these numbers can be misleading.

“In New York State, there are 70 percent vaccinated for just one dose. That’s only for people who are 18 and older,” Angela Murray, senior director for quality management and performance at Arnot Health said. “If you look at the entire New York State, we’re only at 52.3 percent of the entire population being fully vaccinated.”

In the United States, 53.7 percent of Americans have at least one dose and 45.6 percent are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC vaccine tracker.

Vaccine hesitancy is on the rise as these restrictions lift, but health officials continue to be creative with their vaccine approach. Clinics have been held at local businesses, bars, stores, and events in the Twin Tiers.

Laurel Health holding COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Elkland

According to the experts, vaccines could be offered at local health care providers soon. They say it would help to vaccinate more Americans.

“It really would be ideal if more providers would agree to be a COVID of vaccine administrator. Their [the public’s] health care provider is their most trusted source of health information.” Darlene Smith, Steuben County public health director, added.

Both Steuben County and Arnot Health say they will continue to offer the vaccine to anyone who wants it. They want to continue to hold public clinics, but they will also make personal visits to vaccinate as many people as possible. Murray added that this vaccine could become routine, like the flu.

“I would say absolutely we’re going to see it kind of migrate into a routine vaccine. That’s what one would think that would happen,” Murray continued.

Both health offices warned the Twin Tiers are not out of the woods yet. There is still a long way to go before herd immunity is reached.

“We’re always going to look for more opportunities to vaccinate whenever anyone calls with an idea or a suggestion or request. We certainly want to try to honor that,” Smith concluded.

The vaccine is free of charge at healthcare facilities. To find available vaccine clinics, visit the 18 News Coronavirus page.

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